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16 Moor Street, London
A smaller, street-level version of sibling La Bodega Negra, this good-time Mexican diner might exude a ‘buzzy, casual vibe’, but it’s
just as much of a devil to get into as its more ambitious counterpart, with staff fiercely policing the first-come, first-served queues. A central bar dispenses margaritas, daiquiri and the like,
while the walls of the dining room are plastered with colourful Mexican posters and echo to a bouncy pop soundtrack. Easy snacks dominate the menu (think crisp tostadas with chunky guacamole and
salsa fresca, hearty huevos rancheros and griddled quesadillas), although many dishes, including lukewarm tacos and so-so tostaditas, pack none of the punch typical of flavour-filled Mexican
cuisine. In the end it’s all about the oh-so-cool Soho vibe, as the place fills up with curious tourists, post-work punters and first dates.
16 Moor Street, London
020 7758 4100
Leicester Square Tube Station 264m
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 294m
Shaftesbury Avenue 50m
Prince Edward Theatre 96m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
A fabulous night for the 4 of us. Great attentive staff, we waited for a table at the bar. Delicious food & margaritas once seated. Brilliant music & atmosphere, I can't wait to go back, Thank you for a great night! Had been wanting to go for a long time & so glad I did.
Food + drink: 1
For weeks my Twitter feed was being bombarded by #BodegaBrunch pictures. The photo of their Lobster Brioche would even make a seafood intolerant weak at the knees. Being a fan of La Bodega Negra’s main restaurant, we had high hopes for their Cafe serving Brunch on the adjacent street. Sitting on lively Frith Street, the Cafe has large windows facing the eventful street making it an ideal people-watching hub. Make sure to grab the seat facing the windows just in case your brunch companion starts talking about pets and the weather.
Bodega’s Brunch menu features a variety of modern Mexican style dishes, from Huevos Rancheros to Nachos Royale topped with Sevruga Caviar. No point in us looking at the menu, we came here for one dish, and one dish only. The Lobster Brioche. Photo uploads of this breaded little fella holding gifts of the sea had teased us long enough.
We probably could have argued that somewhere in the Eastern hemisphere it must have been 5pm but this morning we gave the cocktails a miss and quenched our thirst with two Refrescos. The Red Berry Ice Tea with hibiscus, lime juice, peychaud bitters & agave was very refreshing but almost sickly sweet. But in anticipation of the Mexican heat coming our way, probably a sensible choice. The Passion Fruit Ting with cranberry juice, lime & grenadine followed its friend’s footsteps as a super sweet, heat-handling juice. Service was incredibly slow even though the waitress to guest ratio was in their favour.
Finally the Lobster Brioche arrived. On first sight it seemed smaller than we expected and trying to split this in two was a hassle. I was underwhelmed to find that there was more crayfish tails than actual lobster. It might just be me but when I read ‘Lobster Brioche’ I expect lobster. Nothing was wrong with the taste, in fact quite a pleasant little brioche. But I would like to negotiate with the chef to add more chipotle mayo and consider some avocado slices. This would take the dish to next level, a level that I encourage La Bodega to aim for considering the prices on their brunch menu.
The Huevos a la Benedicta, chipotle hollandaise & salsa fresca came in a more generous portion and easier to share between two. Nicely poached eggs and the hollandaise most certainly had a kick to it, which had us reaching for the straws of our Refrescos. But the hollandaise had an almost stale consistency to it, as if it had been left in a plastic container and then reheated. The discrepancy between the amounts of sauce between the Twitter pictures and the real thing was shocking. No skimping on the sauce chef, we most definitely paid for it. And we want the overflowing sauce from the Twitter picture. Looks like more love went into that plate.
All in all, we were disappointed in Bodega Brunch. Perhaps we had over-hyped it. Though in all fairness, for the prices on this menu we had every right to have high expectations. La Bodega Negra slightly responsible through their manic tweeting. And yes I know, restaurants always photograph their dishes in the best light. But if they’re frantically posting them, then they should also be prepared for guests leaving unimpressed. And amongst them will always be a couple annoying foodies who blog about it. Let’s not mention any names.
Next time, if there were such a time, I would be doing their main restaurant instead where the dishes, although small portions, are divine and prices more suitable for an evening dinner splurge.
We arrived on Thursday evening (just before Easter bank holiday weekend) and were greeted by the maitre d' saying there's a 45 min wait but she'll put us on the list. I also gave her our number saying we'll be in the pub next door. we waited and waited and when we came back, the same girl said (very rudely) there was no list in existence and it's a street cafe style and everyone just waits around. I thought she was kidding because an hour before she put herself our name on the list and took my number (she helpfully added they dont call people back when their table is ready). oK I swallowed that and we waited a bit more at the bar and got a table. we were already enjoying our conversation when this girl came back to our table and brought her list with her (which did exist) saying that I claimed other people who arrived later than us were seated before us (I never said that!) but in fact we were seated in our turn. honestly it ruined the experience, food and waiting staff were very good I have to say. Front office needs some serious training and customer service upskillling.
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